Airline obligations for rebooking and refunds for denied boarding are set out in the Air Passenger Protection Regulations.

When you have been denied boarding, the airline must offer to re-book you on their next available flight or the next available flight of a carrier which they have a commercial arrangement with.

For situations within the airline's control (including safety related situations)

The carrier must ensure that you complete your itinerary as soon as possible. If you are rebooked in a higher class of service the airline cannot charge you for the upgrade.  This will be done free of charge. If you are downgraded to a lower class of service, the airline must refund the difference in price.

Large airlines must rebook you:

  • On their next available flight or the next available flight on an airline that they have a commercial agreement from your original airport.
  • If the airline's next available flight departs more than 9 hours after your original departure time, the airline must rebook you on the earlier flight of any other airline from your original airport
  • If they are unable to rebook you on a flight leaving from the same airport within 48 hours of the original departure time, they will have to book you on a flight leaving another airport, if there is one nearby.

Small airlines must rebook you:

  • on their next available flight or on the flight of an airline with which they have a commercial agreement that departs from the same airport.

If the rebooking offered by the carrier does not accommodate your travel needs, you are entitled to:

  • A refund of the unused portion of the ticket that you have not used; or
  • If you are not at the point of departure, a refund of your ticket and the airline must return you to your point of departure.

For situations outside the carrier's control

  • Large airlines must rebook you on their next available flight or the next available flight on an airline that they have a commercial agreement with from your original airport within 48 hours of the end of the event that cause the denial of boarding.
  • If a large airline is unable to rebook you on a flight leaving the same airport within 48 hours of the original departure time, they will have to book you on a flight leaving another airport, if there is an option nearby.
  • Small airlines must rebook you on their next available flight or on the flight of an airline's with which they have a commercial agreement that departs from the same airport.

In all cases, routing of the new flight(s) must be reasonable.

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Notices

Passengers have new rights under the Canadian Transportation Agency’s (CTA) Air Passenger Protection Regulations when they travel by air.
2019-07-15
Date modified: